Cooking · News

Fruit of the Summer

It makes me really happy to look at this photo.

This was taken by Kev in our kitchen, because we were both talking about how great our home sweet home looks with a kitchen full of fruit.

I know it’s not an amazing photo, and also it’s not displaying the most fancy, weird fruit that exist in the World. It is just some easy, down to Earth type of fruit that most of us have no problem in eating. And some even love these fruit.

I love watermelon, and my beloved parents have lots of photos of me, when I was a kid, devouring slices of watermelon. Good times.

Kev loves bananas. Kev loves Ediana, Ediana Banana. It makes sense. ūüôā

Cooking · Creativity

Watermelon WOW!!!

My favourite fruit since always, now in a super big version that puts any other Watermelon to shame.

Just so you know, despite the size it didn’t last long in our kitchen.

It was devoured after we had it cooling down in the fridge for a few hours.

And it was as sweet as it can be.

Delicious!

nham nham

ūüôā

Cooking · Creativity

Flavour of the Tropics

We are in the North of Brazil at the moment, staying with my parents for a while.

The Place is on the border of nothing less than the amazing Amazon Forest, full of nature and super tropical fruit all around us.

Pineapple Tree
Pineapple Tree
Coconut and bananas
Coconut Milk

This week we picked some pineapples and coconuts off the trees and decided to find a fresh summer recipe to make with these ingredients.

PINEAPPLE AND COCONUT ICE CREAM

This is a very good recipe, quick and easy to make, and delicious to eat of course.

It is a dairy-free recipe, so it is very healthy for you too.

Ingredients

Method:

  1. Peel the pineapple and cut into chunks, omitting the core. Place pineapple chunks into an airtight container or plastic bag and place in the freezer for 12 hours or more. When pineapple is frozen remove from the freezer and allow to sit for a few minutes to soften slightly.
  2. Add the pineapple to a food processor with the coconut cream, shredded coconut, honey or agave nectar and lime juice plus zest
  3. Process on high, stopping to help the frozen pineapple along by scrapping down the sides often, until just smooth. Be careful not to process the mixture for so long that it melts and becomes watery
  4. Taste and adjust honey or coconut cream
  5. You can choose to serve immediately  topped with lime zest and a sprinkle of Dulce sugar
  6. Leftover ice cream can be re-frozen. Allow it to soften for a couple of minutes when removed from the freezer

This recipe was taken from the following website: http://jeroxie.com/addiction/pineapple-and-coconut-ice-cream

We gave it the funny name Abacaja√ßi, that is a mixture of abacaxi (pineapple in Portuguese) and my father’s name, which Kev still cannot pronouce properly.

But this was only for the fun of it.

Cooking · News

Grocery Shopping

For almost three months, I was unable to get out of the house, due to my broken foot and all that comes with it, so my lovely hubby Kev had to learn how to go grocery shopping for us.

Image via Toothpaste For Dinner

Not that he didn’t know how to do it, but simply because he had to learn MY way of doing the grocery shopping.

It was a bit difficult at the start but it got better with time, and it was either because I learned how to write the shopping list or he noticed my face when he arrived back from the supermarket, and unpacking the bags.

You see, Kev is a man, just as other men. Well, a lot better I think. He is sweet and romantic and an excellent partner in crime, if you know what I mean! ūüôā But, he is a man, and as a man he understands exactly what he sees in front of him.

Especially if I have written down something he will get exactly that thing, and forget everything else.

So I had to write everything in the list, not only the items but also the sizes, measurements, colours, expiry dates, etc, etc, etc. So, the grocery list wasn’t a simple list anymore. It became a letter, nearly a two page one, and I had to start writing it a day before to make sure that he would get everything correct.

Thanks Silly Sausage, for going shopping for us

I am glad that I am finally healed, and able to go grocery shopping once again, on my own. Without lists. Well, maybe a much smaller one at least.

Cooking · News

Tea Junkies – A Little Story

Today we received a package in the post.

And inside it there was a thing that we have been craving for months, lovely teabags.

How come something so simple can make us so happy.

Well, I don’t know why, but it does.

I guess it’s because we are away from home for a while, and this reminds us of how good it is to have the familiar taste in our mouths again.

Tea is a big thing in Ireland, some would call it the nations favourite drink. Or maybe I am talking about Guinness, for some people.

I got to know the deliciousness of Irish tea when I moved to Dublin five years ago.

At first I said;

“No, thanks, tea with milk? No way, nope, not for me”.

I had been taught that coffee can be served with milk, but tea is always just tea.

Through the influence of some of my Irish friends and trying to adapt to the culture, I ended up trying it once or twice.

It was ok, nothing special about it.

Then, as my friendships with the locals (I always wanted to say that! HA!) were getting more and more serious, I started to drink tea quite regularly.

That’s because Irish tea junkies drink tea all the time, I mean it, ALL the time, at least every half an hour!

I remember when I went to the house of one of my friends, Mary, to spend Christmas with her and her family, in the west of Ireland, where the biggest tea junkie population is located.

As it was cold and damp, and we were all sitting around, tea proved to be the perfect comfy drink for us. It would go with all nice sweet Christmasey things aswell, such as: chocolate, cookies, cakes, pudding, etc.

That’s what we drank all day, (at night to the pub, for Guinness of course!). No need to say that tea was also the last drink of the night, after coming home from the pub, to get warm and cozy before going to bed.

So there I kept drinking tea occasionally, every time I went to visit my friends or they came to my house. But, wait! By that stage I hadn’t actually bought any tea yet.

That was the task of another friend, a more advanced tea junkie (her street name was Ms Niamh Brewster), she would drink a cup of tea every twenty minutes. Maybe it just seemed too much because I was not one of them yet.

As she came to visit me very often, and she couldn’t stay away from tea, she brought it with her. Fair play, so I would take a sip too.

Thinking ahead, she left a box of teabags in my house for her next visit. This was my introduction to Lyons tea… the best stuff on the market, by far!

But I still didn’t really know how to make a proper cup of tea, it’s not Rocket Science but I hadn’t quite gotten the jist of it yet. So one day, after we had a visit from our Landlord, Peter, and we offered him something to drink, we were really just being polite. It wasn’t really for him to accept or ask for anything.

I offered: “Would like some coffee, or tea, maybe?”, and, of course he went for tea.

I will never forget that episode, it was traumatising. As I was the only one in the house that had some teabags, and I had offered it. I was the one that had to make tea for him. I did the best I could.

However, it seems it was not enough as he discreetly poured the poor fresh cup of tea that I had made especially for him into the sink. Then he made another one, a good one this time, for himself.¬† I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t supposed to notice it, but I did.

Well that got me thinking that if I was drinking tea, I should learn how to make it. It could be handy, if sometimes I would want it and didn’t have any Irish friend at hand.

Thanks Ms Niamh Brewster, you taught me well in my time of need. Have a look here to see what I mean.

After I had learnt from Ms Niamh Brewster, I continued having weak tea, guess I didn’t want to risk overdosing on it.

A few months later I met my destiny, the man of my life, the one that would come to be my husband one day. A Culchie boy from the west of Ireland, and as you can imagine another tea junkie, one of the biggest that I have ever known.

With him, I got addicted to nice sweet strong tea with full fat milk. It’s so bad, but it’s so good.

Our affair with tea was going lovely, it was always there for us.

Until we moved to Brazil last year, and we couldn’t smuggle in any teabags. First came the cravings, then the withdrawal symptoms. We have tried to buy other types of tea, drank them all, but they are not the same, they don’t do it for us.

So after pleading for assistance, we got some Irish teabags sent to us. Twice already. In bulk, and this is the third time. And for that we sincerely thank our friends, especially Karen,  and family, especially Martina, back in Ireland, that sent us this precious thing to keep our vice alive.

They truly are good friends.

Ah, all this talk of tea has got my cravings going, so I am off to have a cuppa tea.

I guess I am a tea junkie after all.

Mad Tea Party

Cooking · Creativity · Holidays

To my favourite teacher

Teacher's Tea

“To give an apple to your teacher” is a long gone idea. So to be creative on this year’s Teachers day, I made something very personal, and yummy, of course!

The honoured person in question is my lovely hubby, who for the last six months has been teaching all that he knows to Brazilians who want to learn.

I had the idea of the egg in toast on this website, and as Kev loves eggs, and toast, I prepared a nice cute breakfast for him on the 15th of October. He loved the surprise, ate two eggie toasts, licked the plate, drank his tea, and off he went to be a teacher on Teacher’s day.

Teacher's Toastie

It’s really simple and fun to make, I just cut the hole out with a plain round glass, but there are several ways of making it, with cookie cutters, of all shapes and sizes, the cuttest being stars and love hearts. I also toasted the bread on both sides, because Kev likes the yolk hard. I prefer it runny, so I just made some for myself after he had left. ūüôā

Recipe HERE and HERE.

Other names for this delicious breaky, here.

Some funny facts about the history of toast, here.

Cooking · Creativity

I Scream for Ice Cream!

Banana Split

This is an easy one!

It’s a very nice refreshing dessert, to cool you down on summer days.

It’s the traditional Banana Split, with a sweet touch.

The recipe frills like this:

A Banana cut in half

5 soup spoons of Sugar

And Coconut Ice Cream

And you make it like this:

Plop the sugar into a pot and bring it to the cooker/stove, mixing it until it is brownish and sticky. Imagine the colour of  caramel.

Throw the banana in the pot.

Mix it well until it is all covered by the caramel.

Serve it in a bowl.

Scoop as much Ice cream as you want on top of the scorchio caramelised bananas.

Secrets:

The banana is better if cut in half, length ways.

You can use Vanilla Ice Cream instead of Coconut flavour.

Be a quick hand with the banana, when you are mixing it with the caramel. So, put the banana into the bowl as nifty as you can, or else it will stick to the spoon, your fingers or maybe even your face. ūüôā

Cooking

We have teabags!

Today we received a package in the post.


Our favourite!

And inside it there was a thing we have been craving for months, lovely teabags.

How come something so simple makes us so happy.

Well, I don’t know why, but it does.

And for that we thank sincerely our friends and family back in Ireland, that sent us this precious thing to keep our vice alive.

They are good friends.


It's Tea Time!

And I am off to have some tea, now that I can. Bye.

Cooking · Creativity

The Best Homemade Burger Ever!

Friday night, time for comfy fast food!

Tonight we will go for BURGERS! Yay! Love them! But pay attention, it’s not just any burger.

Here we make our own, it’s tastier and way bigger than most of the burgers in town.
We add a few personal touches to make it special and even more yummy.

It’s probably the simplest thing to make, but this is Kev’s recipe, and believe me, he knows what he is doing.

HOMEMADE BURGERS (2 servings)
Ingredients:
1/2 kilo of mince meat
1 egg
1/2 cup of flour
fresh parsley
fresh mixed herbs (to taste)
1 tbsp of salt
1 tbsp of pepper (optional)

2 burger buns
4 soup spoons of mayonnaise
2 lettuce leaves (or more if you like your green)
half tomato, sliced
2 fried eggs
2 slices of cheese (whatever type you prefer)

Instructions :
Put the mince meat in a bowl, add the egg and mix it, add the flour and the parsley. Mix it.
Make two balls with the dough and flat them until they are 3 cm thick.
Put in the grill or frying pan until it is brown and cooked throughout.

Now, assemble the burger, in anyway you want. Kev’s way is bottom bun, mayonnaise, a slice of tomato, the burger, the egg, the cheese, the lettuce, mayonnaise again and the top bun.

While Kev was busy with making the burgers, I got myself busy with doing a nice vodka caipirinha.
Just to add that special Friday night chill-out feeling to our meal.

VODKA CAIPIRINHA (for 2)
Ingredients:

200 ml of vodka (a good one please, we use Smirnoff Vodka)
5 spoons of sugar
4 cubes of ice
2 limes

Instructions:

Cut the limes, in circles, put in a cocktail shaker, or just in a glass.

Press the limes a bit, add the sugar, press a little bit more, add the ice, and then the vodka.

Mix it, shake it, and put in a nice glass. And sit back and enjoy it, before, after or while eating the burgers.

Goes well with a nice movie or simply with a fun boardgame, and some music.

After all it is Friday Night!

Kev's creation in the kitchen
Cooking · Creativity

Let’s Celebrate with Chinese Food!

Our Wedding Day

Yesterday it was three months since we got married, and as this doesn’t seem to be a big deal in the anniversaries calendar, but we wanted to celebrate, we decided to go with a cheap but delicious solution.

We decided to have a good auld Chinese take-away meal.

Oh, wait a minute, we aren’t in Ireland, we are in Brazil, in a city where there are NO decent Chinese take-aways. (I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true, the thing is that if you want Japanese food you will find loads of it here, but good Chinese -food- no, for that we would have to be across the Atlantic).

So, what do we do? we make our own Chinese take-away meal.

Yes, that’s right, let’s do it! And, ah, while we are cooking, why not open that bottle of red Chilean wine that we got as a present a while ago? It’s a special date, we deserve it, don’t we?

Ok, first, the recipe. Oh, right, great! We found one. And it’s with chicken, something that we happen to have in the fridge. Keep in mind that we are going for the cheap and quick option.

So, we got all the ingredients, mixed them together, cooked, (mostly like the recipe was telling us to do). And, 40 minutes later, our Chinese take-away homemade by ourselves chicken was finally delivered to our plates in front of us, ready to eat.

We did it, between glasses of wine and kisses, we got our Chinese take-away meal, ate it all, loved it, and sat beside each other stuffed with food for the rest of the night.

Ah, yes, we also watched a film, and after … Well, if you are married and ever celebrated any anniversary in your life, you know what we did after.

Ok, the recipe is here:

SAUTEED STRING BEANS WITH CHICKEN

Ingredients:

1/2 kilo of string beans ( removed both ends)

1 boneless chicken breast ( sliced)

1 red pepper ( wash and cut cube) (we used green pepper)

4 cloves garlic ( crushed)

1 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp corn flour

1 chicken stock cube

1 tbsp oyster sauce (we didn’t use this as we didn’t have it, we replaced it by 4 tbsp of soy sauce)

1 tbsp cooking oil

3 carrots cut in cubes (that was our special touch)

Instructions:

1: Wash the string beans. Cut the pepper. Peel and crush the garlic. Slice the boneless chicken and marinate with corn flour and soy sauce for 10 minutes. (we didn’t wait that long)

2: Prepare wok (pot for stir-fry) at high heat,add in the oil and the garlic,fry until brown. Then add in marinated sliced chicken meat, fry for another 2-3 minutes. If it’s too dry ,add in 1-2 tbsp water,then add in the string beans , the red pepper, the oyster sauce and the chicken stock. Saut√© for another 2-3 minutes. If you like the string beans to retain their crunchiness, don’t overcook or cook under slow heat.

3: Adjust the seasoning to your taste before removing it from the heat.Serve warm over rice or pasta. (We had it with rice, yummy!)

And the photo is here:

Made in Brazil

We found the recipe on this website.

We also found some other recipes on this website, and we will try them sometime soon, or on a future wedding anniversary.